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Tigers clinch a share of the West Central South baseball title

(Tribune photo by Rand Middleton) Eric Riley, left, of Morris/Chokio-Alberta raps a two-run double in the first inning Wednesday at Paynesville. Riley also hit a solo home run in the sixth inning. The Paynesville catcher is Austin Mackedanz.

By bolting out to a 9-2 lead and holding on down the stretch, Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta clinched at least a share of the West Central Conference South baseball title Wednesday as it edged Paynesville 11-10.

The Tigers improved to 13-2 in the conference with one game remaining, a prime-time game at second place Minnewaska (12-3) tonight at 7:30 p.m.

The Tigers uncorked four home runs and applied a 13-hit attack against three Paynesville pitchers. Alex Erickson ignited the charge by going 4-for-5. Erickson slugged a two-run homer in the third and his solo home run in the seventh proved to be the winning hit as Paynesville scored three runs in the seventh to pull within one.

Eric Riley drove in four more runs for the Tigers, highlighted by a two-run double in the first and a solo home run in the sixth. Brody Bahr also connected on a solo home run to lead off the Tigers' second inning.

Jason Kampsen sparked Paynesville by knocking in four runs with a solo home run in the third, a two-run single in the fourth and an RBI single in the first.

After Riley and Erickson homered in the last two innings to put the Tigers up 11-7, Jon Solum came through in a pinch for the Bulldogs by connecting on a three-run double in the seventh. But Riley, pitching in relief of starter Tyler Hansen, got a strikeout to end the game.

Only two of Paynesville's 10 runs were earned.

Tyler Hansen was 1-for-2, 2b with 2 runs; Alex Erickson was 4-for-5, with a double, a solo HR, a 2-run HR, 4 runs, and 3 rbi; Eric Riley was 3-for-4, with a double, solo HR, and 4 rbi; Cole Riley was 1-for-4, with a double, and 2 rbi; Mitch Kill was 1-for-2, with one rbi; Ethan Bruer was 2-for-4; and Brody Bahr was 1-for-4, a solo HR, and an rbi.